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Elusive Effects of Unemployment on Happiness

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  • Petri Böckerman

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  • Pekka Ilmakunnas

Abstract

This paper explores the connection between unemployment and subjective well-being in Finland by using cross-sections for the years 1990, 1996 and 2000 from World Values Surveys. An unprecedented increase in the national unemployment rate (from 3 to 17 per cent) did not produce a drop in the mean level of subjective well-being. Experiencing unemployment personally reduces life satisfaction, but does not have a significant effect on happiness in ordered logit estimation. However, generalized ordered logit estimation reveals that being unemployed has a negative effect on happiness at lower happiness scores, but no significant effect at high happiness levels.
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Suggested Citation

  • Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2006. "Elusive Effects of Unemployment on Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 159-169, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:79:y:2006:i:1:p:159-169
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-005-4609-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    3. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    4. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    5. Richard E. Lucas & Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Ed Diener, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," DELTA Working Papers 2002-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    6. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    7. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Antje Mertens & Miriam Beblo, 2016. "Self-Reported Satisfaction and the Economic Crisis of 2007–2010: Or How People in the UK and Germany Perceive a Severe Cyclical Downturn," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 537-565, January.
    2. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
    3. Néstor Gandelman & Giorgina Piani, 2013. "Quality of Life Satisfaction among Workers and Non-Workers in Uruguay," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 97-115, March.
    4. Santiago Lago-Peñas & Elena Rivo-López & Alberto Vaquero-García & Mónica Villanueva-Villar, 2018. "Do family firms contribute to job stability? Evidence from the great recession," Working Papers. Collection C: Family business 1801, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    5. Antje Mertens & Miriam Beblo, 2016. "Self-Reported Satisfaction and the Economic Crisis of 2007–2010: Or How People in the UK and Germany Perceive a Severe Cyclical Downturn," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 537-565, January.
    6. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
    7. repec:spr:qualqt:v:52:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11135-017-0479-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ballester, Ramon & Recio, Albert & Garriga, Anna, 2015. "Programas de garantía de rentas e inserción laboral: El itinerario de inserción laboral de Cáritas Girona/Minimum Income Schemes and Labour Insertion: The Occupational Itinerary of Caritas Girona," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 33, pages 1011-1036, Septiembr.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness; unhappiness; life satisfaction; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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